Stories and news

Between 7-9 May, Antwerp is the host city for breakbulk professionals from all over the world during Antwerp XL. This new three-day conference brings leading players and companies together from all around the world to show off new products, discuss trends and discover technologies and innovations. This showcase confirms Antwerp's role as the breakbulk port for Europe.
Antwerp is increasingly recognised as an ecosystem for digital innovation on a global scale. The recently published Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019 (GSER2019) by Startup Genome defines Antwerp as an early globalising ecosystem for startups, with a global Top 30 position for funding and a higher than average ecosystem value. The report is a confirmation of the strong ambitions of Antwerp to become a reference hub for digital innovation in Europe.
In 2018, Antwerp had twice as many start-ups and scale-ups than in 2012. This is a remarkable finding: in 2018, these innovative companies raised up to four times more capital for their business growth than six years earlier. With this, the city of Antwerp demonstrates a clear ambition: within six years, the city wants to occupy a place in the European top 10 scale-up cities.
On 14 and 15 May international experts and entrepreneurs are coming together at FutureSummits in Antwerp to discuss the future of Artificial Intelligence. FutureSummits is a technology event organised by the leading research and innovation centre imec. “Artificial Intelligence will make our way of working and living more efficient for entrepreneurs, residents and cities”, explains John Baekelmans, Vice President of imec. It’s no coincidence that FutureSummits is taking place in Antwerp. imec believes Antwerp has a pioneering role to play in AI as the smart city of Flanders.
The National Bank of Fujairah, a bank with years of experience in the diamond sector in Dubai, selected Antwerp as the place to expand its activities in the diamond industry. On the 7th of April 2019 it opened its first international representative office in Antwerp’s diamond district.
• Further investment in strategic position of Antwerp refinery, one of the most modern and efficient in the world.
• Meets the demand for cleaner fuels in the context of the new 2020 standards of the International Maritime Organization.
• Over the past 15 years, ExxonMobil has invested 2.6 billion euros in Belgium.
In 2020 BlueChem is opening its doors in eco-effective business park Blue Gate Antwerp. The incubator will offer a place to around fifteen young firms and SMEs which focus on sustainable chemistry. After Houston, Antwerp has the largest cluster of chemical firms in the world. The proximity of the Port of Antwerp, the central location in Europe and the large availability of expertise in chemistry in Flanders makes the old Petroleum South an ideal location for BlueChem.
VF Corporation, a global leader of iconic apparel, footwear and accessory brands, opens a new sustainable office in Antwerp. This move brings the Antwerp-born Kipling back home. In this way the Belgian based operations for Kipling, Eastpak, Lee and Wrangler brands will be shown from a new homebase, fashion city Antwerp, to customers worldwide.

Born in Antwerp in 1987 with the iconic nylon bags, Kipling is returning back to Antwerp, Belgium’s cradle of fashion. After 32 successful years in the accessories business, Kipling’s aim now is to unify the brand under one global creative vision.
Antwerp is a booming hub for digital innovation. The city was invited at SXSW (South by Southwest), a prestigious conference about music, film and technology in March 2019 to present the role of Antwerp as startup city.
Legendary filmmaker Lars Von Trier has a thing with diamonds. He wants to have one cut to represent each of his films. He worked with Mike Akiki from Antwerp Cut for his 2011 film Melancholia. The result of their brainstorming is a unique twin diamond that is currently on display at M HKA. Mike Akiki talks about the project and the artistry that went into cutting the diamond.
The Energy Observer was docked in the Port of Antwerp from 21 to 29 March 2019. The Energy Observer is the first vessel in the world running on hydrogen, generated from seawater and produced using the energy extracted from 130 m² of solar panels and 2 wind turbines. This is the perfect chance for the Port of Antwerp to highlight energy transition over these nine days.
From 12 until 15 March 2019, the City of Antwerp will be joined by the City of Ghent and a delegation of private real estate companies at MIPIM, the international real estate exhibition in Cannes. Both cities will present their vision for the future of their urban development and architecture under the header ‘Antwerp | Ghent. Reshaping our cities’. Antwerp is ready for the future.